Planning processes for innovative street designs require the exploration of interests of different user groups. Modern active and ecological forms of mobility can be improved through dedicated and targeted design of the public space. Often redesign of public spaces leads to conflicts, especially when the main focus is not on motorized private transport anymore. Mediation between needs and requests is often complicated and thus leads to long lasting planning- and building-phases in public infrastructure projects.
The aim of VR-planning is to support participative planning processes through the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) through the development of innovative interaction approaches and the possibility to allow stakeholders to experience redesign of public spaces, even in early planning phases. In VR-Planning the usage of VR and AR in four possible forms of participation (information, consultative and cooperative participation and interaction of professional planners) will be researched. The biggest challenge in participatory planning is to include persons with various backgrounds and diverse knowledge in the process. Thus in VR-Planning it shall be investigated how the usage of VR and AR can be used to best support such diverse backgrounds, to gather efficiently important results. In two examples. "aspern Die Seestadt Wiens" (an urban development project in Vienna) and "Stadt- und Infrastrukturentwicklung Kapfenberg" (the redesign of streets and infrastructure in a part of Kapfenberg Styria) the usage of VR and AR in participatory planning processes will be researched and evaluated in real world usage in strong cooperation with citizens, professional planers and representatives of the public administration.
In VR-Planning it will be investigated how immersive VR and AR can lead to a better understanding and trust in the planning and building process. An important result of the project is the development of guidelines for integration of VR and AR in the communication of city development, participatory planning processes and interdisciplinary higher-level specialist planning. The project results will provide future planers and decision-makers with possible usage scenarios for integrating VR and AR in future planning. The guidelines support participation in different phases of the planning process: idea generation in early phases, development of visions for urban spaces, the condensation of alternatives through user generated design and the realistic experience of design for future users in early project phases. VR-Planning lays a foundation for inclusive, efficient, sustainable and innovative Smart Street Design.